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Singapore EP holder relocating to China

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tigerstyle
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Singapore EP holder relocating to China

Postby tigerstyle » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 8:03 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping one of the experts here on the forum can help me answer a question. I am currently on an EP here in Singapore (have been so for the past year and a half) and have been asked by my company to relocate to China on expat terms. My question is can I continue to be paid in Singapore and continue to remain on an EP status if I am physically based out of China?

Obviously, there will be tax liabilities on either side, but assuming that my company will be covering the tax liabilities, legally can i continue to get paid here? Do I need to maintain my EP status in order to get paid in Singapore?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Pratap

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 19 Sep 2011 9:09 pm

If you are being relocated, then no. But if you are there on a temporary assignment for a couple of months, I think you can. The odds are, though, that they will remove you from their payroll here so as to open up space for another position. While there aren't quota's per se for EP holders, I suspect that there are ultimately, but nothing that is published.

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Postby tigerstyle » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 8:01 pm

Hi SMS, thanks for your reply.

I'm actually going to be relocated lock, stock and barrel for 18-24 months.

The understanding is that I will be on Singapore payroll though. This is in theory similar to other expatriates in my company that are relocated from the States to Singapore (for example) and are still paid in the States. They still here on an EP but dont actually get paid in Singapore. I was wondering if I can legally do the same. I.E. Work and live outside of Singapore but still get paid in Singapore.

I guess whether or not I can retain the EP is secondary to whether I can continue to get paid in Singapore without actually working in Singapore?

Thoughts?

Thanks

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 8:40 pm

Different base country tax laws, for a starter. In Singapore, your income earned outside of the country is not taxable to Singapore. If you are from the states, you income is taxable world wide regardless of where you happen to be. (I've been here 30 years and still pay US taxes annually.) The US does have some tax reliefs though. Singapore just says if it's not earned here then it's not taxable here.

Makes no difference whether you are paid here or there. What matters is where the income is earned. Basically, it ain't gonna happen.

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Postby tigerstyle » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:44 pm

Hey sms,

Thanks again. I guess I'm confused as to why you would say it ain't gonna happen? If I can technically get paid in Singapore... And if to your point, Singapore won't tax me since it's work performed outside of Singapore... then my tax liabilities would primarily be in China (for work performed in china) and my country of nationality (India)...which doesn't have double tax laws like the states for example.

So what do you think is the roadblock?

Thanks

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Re: Singapore EP holder relocating to China

Postby beppi » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:23 pm

tigerstyle wrote:My question is can I continue to be paid in Singapore and continue to remain on an EP status if I am physically based out of China?

Continue to be paid in Singapore: Yes, there is no reason why not (but as above posters have pointed out, your company might not want this and you have to pay tax in China regardless).
Remain on EP status: No, as you would not be working/living in Singapore.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:38 pm

An employment pass is only to enable you to physically work "in" Singapore. If you are going to be transferred to China, you would lose your EP in Singapore and would need a work visa for China. No two ways about it. You are either here or there, but no way can you be in both places.

tigerstyle
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Postby tigerstyle » Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:40 pm

Got it! Thanks Beppi!

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Postby tigerstyle » Thu, 13 Oct 2011 1:26 pm

Hey folks, just a quick update. I had a chat with the immigration specialists and HR contacts with my company regarding this topic and it turns out, I will still be employed in Singapore and will still continue to maintain my EP. There will be double tax liability, but that will be normalized/taken care of by my company.

Cheers

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 13 Oct 2011 1:44 pm

So your not being relocated, but on assignment. Big difference. That's the problem with the written word, if it's not accurate, the answers cannot be either.

But it looks like it's all working out. That's what counts.

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Postby tigerstyle » Thu, 13 Oct 2011 2:07 pm

You're right...I guess there is a big difference between relocated and on assignment :)

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 13 Oct 2011 2:46 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So your not being relocated, but on assignment. Big difference. That's the problem with the written word, if it's not accurate, the answers cannot be either.



Can I hijack you a little on the same topic?

When does IRS/MoM determine the move is an assignment rather than a relocation?

I ask because I'm considering a permanent move to HK where I am PR. I would like to keep the EP here, get paid here etc. since I'll still be the MD of the company here and travelling quite often. As a PR in HK I'm not required to work in order to live so technically I don't need to register myself there as even being employed.

On that basis I wouldn't pay tax in HK but assume I'd still have to pay full taxes here in SG? I heard something from somewhere that suggested if I was 6-months overseas then there would be a reduction of tax here also?

Sorry for the hijack but some x-over of discussion. Thanks.
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